Industries in Turmoil: Driving Transformation During Periods of Disruption

Matthew S. Weber, Peter R. Monge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Organizational scholars have studied the process of organizational transformation for decades, focusing on the impact of inertia and environmental disruptions as drivers of transformation. Building on this body of work, the present study demonstrates the importance of organizational agency in affecting long-term organizational change. The analysis focuses on 487 newspapers in the United States and looks at the adoption of hyperlinking as part of the process of transforming from print-based organizations to multimedia information providers during an 11-year period from 1997 to 2007. The results show that traditional newspapers that aggressively adopted hyperlinking practices had a decreased likelihood of failure in the long run. The findings provide insights into the important role of individual and organizational action in the transformation process and emphasize the utility of hyperlinks as a communicative tool for organizations seeking to adapt in a digital environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-176
Number of pages30
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • evolutionary theory
  • hyperlink communication
  • inertia
  • online news media
  • organizational transformation

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